It’s not Brain Surgery, it’s Tougher!

I recently shared the following quote with one of my classes, "A teacher has to make more decisions in a day than a brain surgeon." I had seen this quote numerous times on social media. I was jokingly sharing the quote with them because I had to completely change my lesson at the last minute…

Corona Cynicism

In the last 48 hours, my school district has cancelled school for two weeks (oh wait... now three weeks, tomorrow it will probably be five) my governor has closed all restaurants, bars, gyms and any other place where more than 25 people would gather. And the rehab where my father is staying locally for PT…

From the Vocab Lab…

Okay, so I don't have anything as fancy as a lab. But I do have twenty years of experience trying different methods of vocabulary instruction and reinforcement in my classroom, and therefore some idea of what practices tend to work well with middle schoolers at all levels as well as your English Learners. Consider incorporating…

Teaching with Trout

We had a special delivery at school today! Two hundred brook trout eggs were delivered to our classroom. Students will (hopefully) get to experience watching these eggs hatch into alevins and grow into fry. For this program, I got a permit from the state of Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to keep and raise…

Good Bets for Building Positive Mindsets

As a proud "on and off participant" in various yoga type programs over the last seventeen years, I set a goal of bringing some zen into my classroom this year. Zen and middle school don't always mix though, since zen is more about letting go of control than repeatedly reminding 12-year-olds to "close their eyes…